Meridian, Miss. There's a new development in a story that we first brought you Tuesday about a crime victim's mother, and her plea to the public.
Although flowers outside Irma Jean Laniear's home signify the recent loss of her son, inside the house Wednesday morning we found her more at peace than the day prior.
"When I woke up this morning I was so happy that this stuff will be over with. I can put my son to rest," says Laniear.
By Wednesday morning Judge Robbie Robinson was one of many within the community who had reached out to help her family.
"I said, 'I've got to do something for this lady," says Robinson. "I feel her pain."
That's Judge Robinson's response after seeing Laniear's story. In June her 24-year-old son, Courtney, was killed during a carjacking. His mother says Courtney was not the target. It's now more than a month since his death, and Courtney is yet to be laid to rest due to a lack of funds.
Once the story about the family's plight aired, Courtney's mom says there was an outpouring of support from the community.
"I got calls, and people just asked me how much did I need and I said, 'Take it to the funeral home,' and they took it to the funeral home like they said. It felt like something just lifted off of me," says Laniear. "It really did."
Officials at Berry and Gardner Funeral Home say, unfortunately, cases such as that for the Laniear family are not uncommon. That's why they're advising all residents to purchase the necessary insurance if possible.
As for Irma Jean Laniear, she says she appreciates the efforts of officials at Berry and Gardner Funeral Home. She's also appreciative to people within the community such as Judge Robinson who are helping to cover the funeral costs.
"I thank everybody, from the bottom of my heart I really do," says Laniear. "Now I can put my son to rest. I thank everybody I couldn't have did it by myself."
Funeral services for Courtney Laniear will be held this Saturday morning at 11 at Berry and Gardner Funeral Home. Meanwhile, an employee from Citizens National Banks has established an account to further help the family. Those donations can be made at any Citizens National Bank branch in Meridian, or on-line at gofundme.com/lanierfamily.